Taiwan’s Wealth Shows Cuba’s Poverty Is the Result of Socialism, Not a Blockade

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Cuba and Taiwan began the ’70s with similar economies, but today the GDP of the Caribbean island is five times less than that of Taiwan.

 

For decades the Communist Party of Cuba has blamed the United States for Cuba’s misery and poverty, alluding to the “blockade” that the U.S. maintains against Cuba. However, the alleged blockade wielded by the island is in reality a trade embargo that only makes it impossible for people and companies in certain sectors within the United States to do business with Cuba, the rest of the world can trade freely with the island.

Even the United States annually exports about $277 million in goods to Cuba despite the trade embargo, a majority of these exports are foodstuffs.

In addition, despite the establishment of a dictatorial regime in Cuba that has been in power for more than 60 years without any kind of alternation, elections, or basic freedoms, the whole world recognizes the communist authorities and Cuba has a presence in all multilateral international organizations, the main one being the United Nations.

Then there is Taiwan, which has characteristics very similar to those of Cuba since it is also an island that is close to one of the two world powers—China. In the case of the authorities of Taipei they have been completely blocked by the Asian giant, since China claims sovereignty over the island.

Taiwan is recognized by only a dozen nations around the world, has no representation in the United Nations, and its official name cannot even be pronounced at any international event: be it an Olympic Games, a United Nations General Assembly, or even by the embassies of most countries in the world—including the United States. And yet, despite all these difficulties, today Taiwan’s economy is one of the most important in the world, with a poverty rate of 0.7%, as opposed to Cuba, which has one of the most depressed economies on the planet and 90% of its population living in poverty. What is the difference between the two islands? The economic and political model they applied in their nations.

Two Islands With Similar Histories

Cuba and Taiwan, despite being located at two different poles of the planet earth, have very similar characteristics, the one that most resembles them is the fact that they are less than 200 kilometers away from the two superpowers of the world—the United States and China respectively—and suffer trade embargoes or political blockades by the neighboring superpowers; on the other hand, Cuba has a little more than 11. 3 million inhabitants—a couple of million more have fled the country, while Taiwan has 23.5 million residents, despite the fact that Cuba has a land area about three times larger.

Despite the similarities, both nations are currently a long way apart in terms of economic, social, cultural, and technological development, as well as individual freedoms and democracy. Today, Taiwan’s economy is five times larger than Cuba’s, but fifty years ago things were not so different, in the 1970s the GDP of both countries was similar and the largest industry of both was agriculture.

Taiwan: Capitalism, Liberty, & Free Markets

The painful results of the cultural revolution in Mao Zedong’s communist China, which caused the death by famine of at least 30 million Chinese, illuminated the path of the region’s governments, who quickly understood that the failed model of putting the State in control of the means of production would make them all more vulnerable and miserable.

Then the People’s Republic of China’s neighbors began a series of economic and political reforms that would drastically change the quality of life of their inhabitants; Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and, of course, Taiwan, would begin to open their markets, encourage private enterprise and transform their authoritarian regimes into nations with democratic institutions, and little by little the sun began to shine for the so-called Asian tigers.

Despite territorial limitations and China’s political blockade of the island, Taiwan’s inclusive institutions paved the way for the production of technology to supply a severely deficient world market. Taiwanese entrepreneurs began to specialize in the production of semiconductors, those microchips that today we find in all electrical devices in the world, from computers to smartphones and even cars, and little by little the poor island of the past became a rich and developed country.

Currently, Taiwan has the sixth freest economy according to the Index of Economic Freedom, Singapore is the first nation in this section, while Malaysia ranks 22nd and South Korea 24th.

In an article published by the Taiwanese embassy in Mexico, the authorities stated that: “Taiwan, thanks to the policies of its government, began a rapid and overwhelming commercial development, becoming a stable industrial economy. Today it is the 22nd largest economy in the world. This allowed it to establish relations with countries that were in search of good trade relations.”

In the same brief they explain the transition that occurred in Taipei:

“Despite having started as a one-party military dictatorship, in the 1990s it began a process of democratization that today has it as one of the freest countries in the world, with high rates of press freedom, health service, public education, economic freedom, and human development. That is why communist China sees Taiwan, and its international recognition, as an existential threat. The contrast is stark. Democracy has not only proven that it can work but has brought multiple benefits to the population. The Taiwanese have a better quality of life, and opportunities for personal development, than the average Chinese on the mainland. And all this within a framework of freedoms that are unthinkable in a communist China that censures dissidence and whose ruling party increasingly tightens its control over all aspects of the country”.

Cuba: Socialism, Misery, & Ideology

On the other side of the planet, in Cuba, they decided to cover their eyes with the results of the cultural revolution perpetrated in China, and with the collapse of the Soviet Union. While Taiwan took off with a capitalist model, Cuba remained anchored in the old revolutionary dogmas of Fidel Castro, who far from trying to change, he sought to expand his regime of misery in the rest of the continent, achieving it quite successfully in countries such as Venezuela and Nicaragua.

The Cuban revolution took power on the island in 1959 by force of arms and never let go again. With popular slogans such as redistribution of wealth, supposed aid to the poor, and socialism, Fidel Castro began to expropriate land and private companies to be managed by the state, and in a short time Cuba, which used to be one of the largest producers and exporters of sugar in the world, found that it could no longer even produce sugar for internal consumption and had to import it.

For decades, the Cuban revolution was able to stay in power exclusively thanks to the financing offered by the Soviet Union with the aim of increasing the ideological enemies in the backyard of the United States. After the fall of the USSR, in the ’90s Cuba lived one of the worst decades of its history, until the political astuteness of Fidel Castro managed to put Hugo Chavez in power in Venezuela, and since then they lived off the oil of that country until the same failed socialist model ended up ruining the nation with the largest oil reserves in the world, and Cuba was again involved in a tremendous economic crisis, with millions of citizens in extreme poverty, which has recently provoked one of the largest civil uprisings against the communist authorities.

Cuba and Taiwan began the decade of the ’70s with similar economies, but today the GDP of the Caribbean island is five times less than that of Taiwan, and 90% of its population lives in poverty, while in the Asian island only 0.7% of its population is poor.

It is definitely not the fault of the “blockade”, but of socialism. 

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This article was published on September 29, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from FEE, Foundation for Economic Education.

Communist China’s Aggression in the South China Sea

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

In March, a huge Chinese fishing fleet descended on Whitsun Reef, which lies within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines. The Philippine government called on China to cease “militarizing the area”. Almost eight months later, however, more than 150 Chinese vessels reportedly remain in Philippine waters. Pictured: Whitsun Reef, as seen from space. (Image Source: United States Geological Survey/NASA/Wikimedia Commons)

Tensions continue to rise in the South China Sea, as China, or, rightly, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), ramps up its military activities in the region. Within only the first four days of October, China conducted a record-breaking 150 incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) — after China’s People Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) had already, in September, set another monthly record with 117 incursions, some with nuclear-capable bombers, fighter jets and reconnaissance planes. The incursions were reportedly the highest monthly number on record since Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense began reporting Chinese aerial incursions 13 months ago. In addition, in August, the first-ever incursion of Chinese military helicopters into Taiwan’s ADIZ took place, with experts suggesting that the PLA was probing Taiwanese defense capabilities by using different aircraft.

Tensions continue to rise in the South China Sea, as China, or, rightly, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), ramps up its military activities in the region. Within only the first four days of October, China conducted a record-breaking 150 incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) — afterChina’s People Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) had already, in September, set another monthly record with 117 incursions, some with nuclear-capable bombers, fighter jets and reconnaissance planes. The incursions were reportedlythe highest monthly number on record since Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense began reporting Chinese aerial incursions 13 months ago. In addition, in August, the first-ever incursion of Chinese military helicopters into Taiwan’s ADIZ took place, with experts suggesting that the PLA was probing Taiwanese defense capabilities by using different aircraft.

Also in August and September, China conducted assault drills near Taiwan with war ships, early-warning aircraft, anti-submarine aircraft and bombers. “The joint fire assault and other drills staged by the Eastern Theater Command troops are a necessary action to further safeguard China’s sovereignty under the current security situation in the Taiwan Straits,” Colonel Shi Yi, spokesperson for the PLA Eastern Theater Command said, “and also a solemn response to the interference of foreign forces and the provocation of ‘Taiwan independence’ secessionists.” Shi stated that military exercises would be “conducted regularly” based on the situation in the Taiwan Strait and the “need to maintain sovereign security”. China has conducted 20 naval island-control exercises in the first half of 2021, compared to 13 in all of 2020.

This activity — in addition to diplomatic and economic pressure — is evidently meant to exhaust Taiwan, force it to capitulate to China and relinquish its independence without China firing a shot. “China is pursuing an all-of-party approach that seeks to coerce, corrupt and co-opt the international community,” former commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Philip Davidson, recently warned, “in a way in which they may be able to achieve their geopolitical edge… to force Taiwan to capitulate because of extreme, diplomatic, economic, pressure and strain”. Failing that coercion, Davidson estimates:

“the changes in the [People’s Liberation Army]’s capabilities, with their missile and cyber forces, and their ability to train, advance their joint interoperability and their combat support logistics, all those trend lines indicate to me that within the next six years they will have the capability and the capacity to forcibly reunify with Taiwan, should they choose force to do it.”

With China assessing America’s lack of resolve to protect its allies — China’s illegal takeover of Hong Kong and Taliban’s seizure of Afghanistan, where the US even failed to save all US citizens — China could be planning to use force to capture Taiwan much sooner than that — while the opportunity looks inviting. The question is: if China attacks Taiwan, whether the US will defend the island — or even put in place serious deterrents. It will not help anyone except the Chinese Communist Party if the consequences for invading Taiwan consist of nothing more damaging than “strong letter to follow.”

Taiwan’s Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng announced on October 6 that China already has the ability to invade his country. “By 2025, China will bring the cost and attrition to its lowest. It has the capacity now, but it will not start a war easily, having to take many other things into consideration.”

Elsewhere in the South China Sea, also in September, the PLA air force conducted troop transports with a number of large Y-20 transport aircraft to three airstrips in the Spratly archipelago, where China has built and militarized artificial islands on top of the reefs, according to Chinese state media. Global Times, the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) mouthpiece, wrote that the aircraft “conducted amphibious landing drills under complex conditions, showing the PLA’s capabilities in safeguarding peace and stability in the region.” It was the first time that the PLA confirmed that it had used aircraft of this type to transport personnel to the islands. Vietnam, which also claims sovereignty over the disputed Spratly archipelago, protested China’s transport mission to the islands and called it a violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty.

“Surely, this announced feat is aimed at demonstrating the PLA’s force projection capability over vast maritime distances across the South China Sea,” said Collin Koh, a research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.

“And definitely it’s aimed also to demonstrate that the airstrips constructed on the artificial islands are capable of supporting flight operations by large aircraft. If Y-20 can be supported, so will the H-6 bomber.”

China considers almost all of the South China Sea, an area covering roughly 3.5 million square kilometers, and its estimated 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 11 billion barrels of oil, in addition to maritime resources such as fish, part of Chinese territory. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague firmly rejected China’s sovereignty claim in 2016 but five years after that ruling, China continues to reject the court’s authority. China’s claim to sovereignty over the South China Sea and its willingness and ability to pursue it has long been creating friction with countries in the area, who stake their own claims to parts of the sea, including Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

China also regularly uses its large civilian fishing fleet to further its goals in the South China Sea. In March, a huge Chinese fishing fleet descended on Whitsun Reef, which lies within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines. The Philippine government called on China to cease “militarizing the area”. Almost eight months later, however, more than 150 Chinese vessels reportedly remain in Philippine waters. On September 29, Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said he wanted diplomatic protests “filed on China’s radio challenges against Philippine maritime patrols, unlawful restriction of Filipino fishermen from Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal), and the continued presence of Chinese ships in the vicinity of Iroquois Reef…”

In addition, China’s newly revised Maritime Traffic Safety Law (MTSL), which entered into force on September 1, requires certain foreign vessels sailing into Chinese “territorial waters” to notify Beijing in advance. Foreign vessels such as foreign submarines, nuclear-powered ships, ships carrying radioactive, toxic or hazardous materials and any other vessels that “may endanger the maritime traffic safety” of China are required to provide information including their ships’ names and numbers, recent locations, satellite telephone numbers and dangerous goods. “Article 2 of the MTSL expands application of the law from ‘coastal waters’ to ‘sea areas under the jurisdiction of the People’s Republic of China.'”

“The term ‘sea areas under the jurisdiction of the People’s Republic of China’ is not defined in the law and is purposely vague”, wrote Captain Raul Pedrozo, Professor of International Law at the U.S. Naval War College.

“Enacting ambiguous and imprecise laws allows China to alter its position on the applicability of the law based on the circumstances at the time. Nonetheless, given China’s excessive maritime claims and prior enforcement activities, the MTSL is likely intended to apply to all waters and seabed areas (1) encompassed by the nine-dash line in the South China Sea, (2) extending to the Okinawa Trough in the East China Sea, and (3) beyond Ieodo (Socotra Rock) in the Yellow Sea…China is once again testing the international community to gauge how it will react to the enactment of yet another maritime law that exceeds the permissible jurisdictional limits of international law, as reflected in UNCLOS [The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.] China will undoubtedly use the new law to engage in grey zone operations below the threshold of armed conflict to intimidate its neighbors and further erode the rule of law at sea in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Vice Admiral Michael McAllister, commander of the US Coast in the Pacific saidthe revised law was “very concerning”, and seemed “to run directly counter to international agreements and norms”, while building “foundations for instability and potential conflicts” if enforced.

“This looks like part of China’s strategy of casting legal nets over areas that it claims … to ‘normalize’ these claims,” said Robert Ward, senior fellow for Japanese security studies at The International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. “Enforcement will be difficult, but this may matter less for Beijing than the slow accumulation of what it sees as a legal underpinning”. The Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has already said that his country will ignore the revised maritime law. “Our stand on that is we do not honour those laws by the Chinese within the West Philippine Sea because we consider that we have the sovereign right within this waters. So we will not recognise this law of the Chinese,” Lorenzana said during an event marking the Philippines’ Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) with the United States.

The revised maritime law came into effect just seven months after China’s new coastguard law went into force on February 1. The Chinese coast guard law gives China’s coast guard authority to use lethal force on foreign ships operating in Chinese waters, including disputed areas such as the South China Sea. In January, the Philippines filed a diplomatic protest against the Chinese coast guard law saying that it is a “verbal threat of war to any country that defies the law”.

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This article was published on October 7, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from the Gatestone Institute.

Putting Power in Parents’ Hands: Wisconsin Legislature Passes Law to Stop Politics in K-12

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Wisconsin has become the first state in the nation to pass powerful new Academic Transparency legislation to bring sunlight in—and take politics out—of its K-12 classrooms.

Based on the Goldwater Institute’s model policy language, and with the support of the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), the Wisconsin State Senate and State Assembly today passed mirror bills establishing parents’ rights to know what is being taught in their schools by requiring school districts to post on a publicly accessible portion of their website a listing of the specific learning materials being used at each school.

Spearheaded by Senator Duey Stroebel and Representative Elijah Behnke and co-sponsored by more than 25 Wisconsin lawmakers—including the State Legislature’s education committee chairs Senator Alberta Darling and Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt—SB 463 and its companion bill AB488 passed overwhelmingly (19-12 in the Senate, 60-38 in the Assembly).

Under the legislation, prospective parents will no longer have to guess and gamble about whether a nearby school is informally slipping into the classroom content such as the New York Times 1619 Project, or assigning literature like Ibram Kendi’s How to Be an Anti-Racist, which tells students, “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination.”  Instead, as noted by Rep. Behnke, this new Academic Transparency legislation “allows families to make informed decisions about their children’s education experience.” Indeed, for the first time, parents will have the ability to identify and distinguish between schools pushing radical politics versus those affirming core academic principles before they’re forced to choose where to send their children.

Opponents of the legislation found almost no objection too outlandish to level against the new measure, including declaring during the final votes that “this bill censures history” and that its sponsors “are taking away local control of school boards,” despite the fact the bill allows school boards and teachers to continue selecting whatever curriculum materials they wish. The real problem, it seems, is that now they will have to disclose them.

As Max Eden of the American Enterprise Institute observed of Academic Transparency even before Wisconsin’s latest votes, “This proposal is starting to catch fire across the country. It has been introduced in Texas and Illinois, and passed in the Arizona State Senate and the North Carolina State House…[and] earlier this month, Wyoming became the latest state to take up this proposal.”

Now, with the passage of SB463, Wisconsin lawmakers have officially set the bar high for other states looking to empower parents and contain the outbreak of politically radical, racially divisive content flooding our K-12 school system.

With Academic Transparency in place, no longer will parents like Nicole Solas of Rhode Island be forced to navigate a maze of public records requests—and endure threats of retaliatory litigation by her school board and teachers union—simply to know what her incoming kindergarten daughter could expect to see in the classroom. No longer will major school systems like the Madison Metropolitan School District be able to insist on thousands of dollars to disclose to the public the materials being used in just a handful of its classrooms.

It now falls to Wisconsin’s Governor, Democrat Tony Evers, to sign this legislation and ensure it becomes law, rather than actively blocking parents from knowing what is being taught in their schools. And more broadly, it now rests with state lawmakers across the country to bring the same level of transparency to the parents and constituents of their own communities.

To learn more about Academic Transparency, see Academic Transparency to Protect Students from Radical Politics in K-12 Education, visit https://goldwaterinstitute.org/academictransparency/, or contact Heather Curry at hcurry@goldwaterinstitute.org.

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This article was published on September 28, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from IN DEFENSE OF LIBERTY BLOG,  a project of the Goldwater Institute.

Americans Reject President Too Weak to Take on Radicals in His Own Party

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

President Joe Biden’s poll numbers are tanking, especially among independent voters. The American people do not like weak leaders, and they do not like the craziness that’s infiltrating their daily lives.

Biden campaigned as someone who could bring the country together. Since taking office, he’s made no effort to do that. Instead, he has continually conceded to his party’s far-left wing, which is growing crazier by the day. It’s not clear if Biden is just too weak to take them on or if he is buying into their craziness, but either way, people are not happy. The Democrats are somehow making the Republicans seem appealing again to your average non-politically aligned voter. Given the current disarray in the Republican Party, this was a tall task. It’s almost as if the two parties are competing to see who can turn off the middle more. This week, the Democrats are in the lead. Their policies are so crazy not even their allies in the dominant corporate media can succeed in selling them.  

First, the numbers: Quinnipiac University is a major polling outlet not known for a bias. In their latest poll, Biden’s overall job approval has plummeted down to 38% from highs in the mid-50s earlier in his presidency. Things look even worse for Biden when you look at the complete collapse of his support from political independents, who now disapprove of him by a 60%-to-32% margin.

It gets worse yet again when you look at key issues independent voters really care about. On the economy, Biden’s underwater by 28 points. On taxes, by 30. On immigration overall, Biden is down 48 points among independents with only 22% approving, versus 70% disapproving. On Mexican border matters, it’s even worse, with a net negative of 55%. Sixty-three percent of independents don’t think Biden is a good leader, versus only 34% who do. Finally, only 35% of independents think the Biden administration has been competent running the government, versus a whopping 62% who think they are incompetent.  

It’s not a pretty picture.

How did Biden squander all his popularity? It’s not hard to see when you analyze each issue.

On immigration and border security, the hard left is in favor of open borders. Biden claims to disagree with this view, but the policy changes he’s put in place since coming to office have obliterated any semblance of security America had on the southern border. Millions of migrants are crossing illegally. The U.S. government doesn’t even know the real number, and it also does not know how many terrorists or criminals are crossing or how much deadly fentanyl is making it across with so little resistance. People don’t want this.

On economic issues, the socialist wing in the Democratic Party is firmly in charge of the agenda in Washington. The new policies they are trying to ram through Congress will add trillions of dollars in new spending and taxes. Somehow, Biden seems to have been convinced that ramming through this level of increased government involvement in our economy will make him a historic leader. Nobody voted for this. Certainly, the many independents who voted for Biden to help heal a broken country did not sign up for it. The hard left is harassing the two Democratic senators who stand in the way of the socialists, and Biden is passively watching it happen.

The situation in American schools is out of control. Radicals are instituting programs and curricula that are most accurately described as racist in school districts across the country. A school in Buffalo, New York, for example, prescribed a curriculum including Marxist teachings on “disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.” A private school in New York City even encouraged its students to stop using the terms “mom” and “dad.” 

And racial segregation is back. Its advocates this time are so-called anti-racists, as opposed to the traditional brand of racists who used to advocate for such policies. The results are the same. A school in Madison, Wisconsin, for example, segregated students and parents by race into so-called affinity groups for class discussions. And in Wellesley, Massachusetts, the public school hosted an event pushing a so-called healing space available only to minority students. The school did not try to hide its overt racism: “Note: This is a safe space for our Asian/Asian-American and Students of Color, not for students who identify only as White.”

Parents are understandably up in arms over these attempts by radical educators to brainwash their children with Marxist thought or even overt racism. They have taken to school boards in record numbers to push back. The Biden administration’s response? This week, the attorney general sent a memorandum to the FBI and federal prosecutors asking them to work with local law enforcement to crack down on parents protesting school board actions. Nobody is in favor of parents threatening or committing violence against teachers, but the memorandum was worded so broadly as to be reasonably viewed as itself an attempt to intimidate parents away from questioning the radical ideologies being imposed on students across America.

Biden has earned his unpopularity through some combination of weakness and incompetence. The left wing of the Democratic Party has gone firmly out of the American mainstream in several policy areas. Instead of standing up to this fringe, Biden and the party have been catering to the socialists. It’s not clear if they do this because they agree with the insanity or they are too weak to oppose it, but either way, the good news is the American people are not buying it.

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This article was published on October 8, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The Daily Signal.

GOP Governors: Biden Ignores Meeting Request On border crisis, propose own solutions

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Twenty-six U.S. governors requested to meet with President Joe Biden to propose solutions to the ongoing border crisis, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said at a Wednesday new conference. Because Biden did not respond to the request, the governors said they decided to take their message to the American people, proposing their own solutions to the drastic increase in illegal immigration this year that’s led to what they called a humanitarian crisis across the country.

Convening in the border town of Mission, Texas, Abbott, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and eight others said they’ve proposed a 10-point plan to help end the humanitarian crisis caused by Biden’s open-border policies.

“We’re not going to sit around while Biden refuses to act,” Ducey said. “We’ve tried to meet with the president and be part of the solution, but he refuses. No, worse – he ignores us, just like he’s ignoring the border and the well-being of the American people. If the president won’t meet with us, then we’ll share our policy ideas today. Hopefully he will hear our solutions and begin to act.”

Abbott and Ducey created an Emergency Management Assistance Compact in June requesting aid from governors to help quell the overflow of migrants entering the country illegally. Many governors sent law enforcement personnel on short-term missions to help Texas’ and Arizona’s efforts.

The governors’ 10-point plan includes the reinstatement of the “Remain in Mexico” policy that requires immigrants to return to their home countries until amnesty hearings are concluded in the U.S.; and finishing securing the southern border with Mexico, including completion of the border wall that was a priority of former President Donald Trump.

A third demand is the reinstatement of Title 42 health restrictions at the border, which require immigrants to be deported if they pose a health risk, including testing positive for COVID-19. Another is ending the Obama-era catch and release program, which they said is incentivizing criminals and cartels to illegally traffic people and drugs into the country.

The proposed solutions also include clearing the judicial backlog that is slowing the legal immigration process, and deporting all migrant criminals, a policy the Biden administration also changed. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ most recent memorandum states that even entering the U.S. illegally is not reason enough to be arrested even though illegal immigration is a federal crime.

The governors also propose the federal government dedicate more resources to eradicate human trafficking and drug trafficking, which they said has over-extended local law enforcement agencies across the south. And they propose re-entering all agreements with Northern Triangle partners and Mexico, which Biden let lapse.

The majority of the proposed solutions are in direct opposition to Biden administration policies.

Prior to engaging the help of other states, Texas launched its own border security measures after Biden took office, costing Texas taxpayers $3 billion so far.

The Texas Legislature also passed several bills, which Abbott signed into law this year to strengthen border security efforts, including a budget authorization to build a border wall in Texas.

New state laws that went into effect this year increase penalties for those committing crimes in Texas, including nine that crack down on human trafficking, and manufacturing or distributing the highly addictive narcotic fentanyl. Several governors at Wednesday’s news conference said they have seen drastic increases in fentanyl distribution and overdoses in their states.

“The Biden administration’s open border policies have led to complete chaos at the southern border, and pose a threat to the safety of Texans and all Americans,” Abbott said. “Texas has stepped up to keep our communities safe and mitigate this crisis ourselves, and our efforts have been made stronger by the support and assistance of governors from across the nation.”

Joining Abbott and Ducey were Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Idaho Gov. Brad Little, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw, Texas Military Department Adjutant General Tracy Norris and Deputy Adjutant General Monie R. Ulis, and National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd.

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This article was published on October 7, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The Center Square.

Mitch McConnell’s Surrender In The Debt Ceiling Fight Opens The Floodgates For Dems’ $3.5 Trillion Spending Bill

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Republicans caving on the debt ceiling paved the way for Democrats to focus the rest of the fall on their tax-and-spending spree.

In July, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pledged “a hell of a fight” to stop Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending blowout, which “is not going to be done on a bipartisan basis.” That “fight” lasted for less than three months.

On Wednesday, McConnell began negotiating an agreement with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to raise the debt limit until some point in December. McConnell’s offer also attempted to force Democrats to use the budget reconciliation process to pass a longer-term debt limit increase, but Democrats quickly rejected that element of his proposal out of hand.

As part of this agreement, McConnell got Democrats to vote to increase the debt limit by a specific amount (i.e., authorize so many billions or trillions in new borrowing), rather than suspend it to a certain time (i.e., suspend the debt limit until December 16, 2022, as Democrats originally proposed). Some may consider this a meaningful concession, one that more readily allows for political attack ads, but in reality, anyone who votes to suspend the debt limit votes for all the debt incurred during that period of time regardless.

In exchange, McConnell 1) got no policy concessions at all; 2) gave Democrats the time and space to ram through their massive spending bill; and 3) created the reasonable expectation that Republicans will cave on the debt limit a second time when it comes up in December. (Congressional leaders will probably try to cram that debt limit increase into an omnibus spending bill totaling thousands of pages.)

Just as important, McConnell violated the letter that he and 45 other Senate Republicans signed on August 10, when they said that “We will not vote to increase the debt ceiling, whether that increase comes through a stand-alone bill, a continuing resolution, or any other vehicle.” McConnell and several of his colleagues will now have to vote to help the Democrats pass a debt limit increase, which they said two months ago they would not do.

This isn’t savvy legislating; it’s an all-out surrender, and one the Biden administration was publicly banking on all along. Generally, when both Democrats and Republicans think you caved — one GOP senator said “you could hear a pin drop” when McConnell explained his debt limit offer to his Republican colleagues — that’s exactly what you did.

Republicans Had Leverage…

It’s worth dispensing with the main McConnell talking point about the debt limit: that Democrats had all the votes they needed to raise the debt limit unilaterally. That was true at first, but Democrats surrendered that advantage more than six weeks ago when the House formally adopted Senate Democrats’ budget resolution on August 24.

Once the House and Senate agreed to a concurrent budget resolution — one that did not provide for a debt limit increase via budget reconciliation — they gave control of the issue to Republicans. For the uninitiated, the reconciliation process, which has strict parameters, allows the Senate to pass fiscal matters with a simple majority of 51 votes (in this case, 50 Democrats plus Vice President Kamala Harris), rather than the 60 votes normally needed to break a filibuster.

Guidance issued by the Senate parliamentarian earlier this spring permitted Democrats to revise that budget, to allow for a debt limit increase to pass on a party-line basis via reconciliation. But amending the budget first requires a vote in committee — and that committee process requires Republican cooperation.

Senate rules require a majority of committee members to be physically present for any committee markup. But the 50-50 divide in the Senate this Congress led party leaders to split committee assignments evenly between Republicans and Democrats, giving neither party a majority. If all Republicans boycotted a Budget Committee markup, Democrats would have no quorum necessary to report their revised budget — and therefore no ability to increase the debt limit via reconciliation.

… And Now Have Complicity

While the general public might not have understood the procedural details, McConnell’s team knew since mid-August that raising the debt limit would require Republican cooperation to smooth the reconciliation process along, if not Republican votes. And what policy concessions did McConnell request, knowing that his party would have to bear at least some of the political burden of the debt limit increase? As McConnell himself wrote to the president on Monday, “We have no list of demands.”

McConnell’s only “ask,” if one can call it that, was that Democrats use the reconciliation process to raise the debt limit, attempting to force Democrats to use a more circuitous route that involved additional Senate votes. That didn’t amount to a substantive policy request as much an attempt to play “gotcha” politics.

I wrote several weeks ago that a vote to raise the debt limit amounted to a vote for Biden’s $3.5 trillion tax-and-spend monstrosity. And Senate Republicans knew full well the link between the two issues. Here are a few examples.

Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., said, “A lot of our members are very uncomfortable doing anything that would make it easier” for Democrats to raise the debt limit.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who serves on the Budget Committee: “Republicans are not going to want to vote procedurally to [raise the debt limit] because then we become complicit and that’s not something we want to do.”

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine: “Some Republicans would vote to raise the debt limit if they knew the Democrats were going to abandon the $3.5 trillion package.”

After McConnell’s surrender, Democrats recognized the same dynamic — that Republicans caving on the debt ceiling paved the way for them to focus the rest of the fall on their tax-and-spending spree:

[Sen. Tammy] Baldwin, D-Wis., argued that the deal will allow Democrats to avoid wasting weeks of floor time on raising the debt ceiling under the reconciliation process when they would prefer to be working on a reconciliation package to implement President Biden’s $3.5 trillion Build Back Better agenda.

“I believe that Mitch McConnell is trying to steer [us] into this reconciliation process because it takes away from the main Biden Build Back Better agenda,” she said. “We intend to take this temporary victory and then try to work with the Republicans to do this on a longer-term basis.”

“McConnell caved,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., declared after the [Democratic] caucus meeting. “And now we’re going to spend our time doing child care, health care, and fighting climate change.”

So much for “a hell of a fight” to stop the spending blowout.

‘Nuclear’ Threat Prompted a Cave

McConnell’s surrender came mere hours after Biden and other Democrats signaled a willingness to re-examine the Senate filibuster if the debt limit standoff continued. Biden’s comments Tuesday represented a 180 from his position as recently as last week — a remarkably quick flip-flop, even by his standards.

Likely the McConnell camp believes that he had to pursue this tactical retreat, lest Democrats deploy this “nuclear” option to destroy the filibuster, which would open the way to other harmful legislation. But that claim belies the fact that even after Biden’s comments Tuesday, “operatives within the [Democratic] party are skeptical that senators will ultimately scrap the filibuster rules at this moment.”

Moreover, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., said on Wednesday he opposed changing the filibuster rule to resolve the debt limit standoff. Politico reports that Manchin’s public comments came after McConnell called Manchin, giving him advance notice of the former’s debt limit offer — a fact likely leaked by the McConnell office, to advance the narrative that McConnell’s offer prevented Democrats from going “nuclear.”

But given that on Monday, Manchin said that “The filibuster has nothing to do with [the] debt ceiling” and that “we have other tools [i.e., reconciliation] that we can use and if we have to use them we should use them.” Manchin seemed unlikely to cross the filibuster rubicon on this issue irrespective of McConnell’s gambit, meaning the latter surrendered both unilaterally and unnecessarily.

Regardless, McConnell knew or should have expected earlier this summer that a debt limit standoff could precipitate a further showdown regarding the filibuster. If he didn’t want to fight that battle, he shouldn’t have started it in the first place. But he did, and he caved. Now, Democrats will have every reason to expect him to cave again come December.

Ordinary citizens hate Washington politicians because they talk a big game and rarely if ever deliver. That’s exactly what conservatives expecting an actual fight from Mitch McConnell over the spending binge got: another “all hat and no cattle” moment. If Democrats do end up passing their tax-and-spend legislation later this year, conservatives should remember that this moment and Mitch McConnell helped bring it about.

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This article was published on October 8, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The Federalist.

They’re Coming for You

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

For years, politicians have claimed that the rich weren’t paying their “fair share.” While it’s taken a decade or more for voters to catch wind of the truth, people are finally beginning to realize that the rich actually pay far more than the rest of us. According to Congressional Budget Office figures, the average household in the top one percent earns 120 times what the average poor household earns, but pays 2,000 times the taxes. Even after deductions, exemptions, write-offs, income deferrals, and whatever other accounting and legal arcana the rich throw at their tax returns, in the end, the typical one-percenter paid 32% of his income (all sources combined) in 2018 versus 13% for the typical middle-class household and almost 0% for the typical poor household.

It’s clear that Americans have figured out the truth about who pays, because politicians are shifting the goalposts. Elizabeth Warren shifted the conversation from what fraction of income the rich paid to what fraction of wealth they paid. President Biden has upped the ante by talking about taxing unrealized capital gains.

This is unprecedented. The federal government has no constitutional authority to tax wealth, and never have unrealized gains been considered income – either in the realm of accounting or economics. An unrealized gain is simply an investment “in process.” What shows up as a gain today can easily turn into a loss tomorrow. Ask anyone who invested in Bitcoin in March 2021, or gold in August 2011, or housing in 2007. An investment’s tale isn’t told until the investor cashes out. Unrealized gains aren’t gains. They are hypotheticals.

What politicians want is to foment class warfare. If they can get the middle class and poor to resent the rich, those same politicians can expand the scope of federal taxation into areas it has never before touched.

But watch out. Politicians are only partially interested in the rich. They are very interested in the middle class. In 2018, middle and upper middle class households, combined, earned double what the top one percent earned. And the federal government currently taxes the middle classes at rates less than half of what it taxes the one percent. Politicians see the middle class as a largely untapped revenue source.

While President Biden says that a tax on unrealized gains would apply only to billionaires, once instituted, there is nothing stopping the government from applying it to everyone else. If it did so, the middle class would find itself awash in taxation. Most middle class wealth is tied up in home values. The median sale price of existing homes shot up 14 percent just in the past year. If the government applied an unrealized capital gains tax to all homeowners, the median homeowner would get socked with a $7,000 tax bill. And that’s for just one year. The value of the median home rises more than 3.5 percent per year. At current capital gains tax rates, the median worker would get hit with an additional $1,500 federal tax each year simply because his home was, on paper, worth more than the year before. The average 401K or IRA account is worth $135,000. Given stock market gains last year, the average saver would have seen around $13,000 in unrealized capital gains – and a $2,000 tax bill if those unrealized gains were taxed.

And what of higher education? The typical four-year college graduate earns over 60 percent more than the typical worker with only a high school education. Currently, the median difference is over $500 per week. Over a 40 year career, that wage difference adds up to more than $1 million. Should that be taxed?

The college graduate has made an investment in his education that has increased his expected future earnings by $1 million. Of course, the graduate hasn’t earned that money yet. But that simply makes it an unrealized gain. If the government can tax other investments before their gains materialize, why can’t it tax the graduate’s increased income before it materializes? The tax bill there, by the way, would be around $150,000.

What’s really going on is that politicians see a coming fiscal storm, and they are desperate to find new sources of revenue before it hits. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that by 2031 the federal debt will have reached almost $36 trillion. Historically, the CBO’s ten-year debt projections have underestimated future debt by more than a factor of two. If the CBO’s current estimate is off by that same factor, the debt will actually be over $80 trillion by 2031. That’s equivalent to running a $5 trillion deficit each year over the next decade. While that sounds unbelievable, it’s consistent with what we’ve seen in the past. Since the late 1960s, the federal debt has grown at an average annual rate of almost 9 percent. If the debt continues to grow at that historical average, by the end of the decade, it will be more than $65 trillion. That’s equivalent to running a $3.5 trillion deficit each over the next decade. For comparison, the federal government collected $3.4 trillion in taxes in 2020.

Federal spending is out of control. Politicians know it and they know that they can’t stop it.

Those same politicians have realized that raising taxes isn’t enough. They need new sources of tax revenue that haven’t existed before. Their first step is to institute new taxes on wealth and unrealized capital gains. Once established, their next step will be to expand those taxes to the middle class.

A day of reckoning is coming. Politicians hope that we’ll keep pointing fingers at the rich so we don’t notice who the real culprits are.

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This article was published on October 4, 2021, and is reproduced with permission AIER, The American Institute for Economic Research.

American Liberty Must Not Become Coronavirus Casualty

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

When announcing his nationwide vaccine mandate, President Joe Biden declared, “This is not about freedom.” But for Americans who live outside the Beltway, it is absolutely about freedom, because America is about freedom.

Yes, the coronavirus is still with us. Yes, it is still potentially dangerous, particularly to vulnerable Americans. But the need long since has passed for extraordinary measures such as lockdownsmask mandates, and other restrictions on American liberty.

In a country with competent leaders, all such measures—most especially the forced vaccinations for COVID-19 recently ordered by Biden—would be repealed, and Americans would be allowed to return to their normal lives.

Aggressive measures made sense in early 2020 when I served as chairman of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Back then, scientists understood precious little about the virus and hospitals were rightly concerned about the possibility of running out of bed space for COVID-19 patients.

But 18 months later, we have three safe and effective vaccines thanks to the Trump-Pence administration’s Operation Warp Speed, and over 77% of American adults are at least partially vaccinated. I chose to get vaccinated, and so did my family. But that’s a choice that every American should be free to make for themselves.

The good news is, today we know a great deal about the coronavirus and the threat—or lack thereof—that it poses to American citizens.

Most importantly, we know that the virus does not affect populations equally, which is why one-size-fits-all mandates make absolutely no sense. For example, young, healthy people with no preexisting conditions typically experience only mild symptoms from the virus. In fact, nearly 98% of all COVID-19 deaths in the United States have occurred in those over 40.

Meanwhile, people who are obese or overweight face a much higher risk of severe symptoms and hospitalization. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 80% of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 were overweight or obese.

Yet, in his sweeping vaccine mandate on 80 million Americans, Biden and his public health bureaucrats make no distinction between groups based on age, overall health, or any other known risk factors.

Nor do they consider the 1 in 3 Americans who already have contracted and recovered from the virus, and thus have developed natural immunity—which multiple studies have shown is far more effective and longer-lasting than the immunity achieved by vaccination.

Why should those who are naturally immune be penalized for refusing a vaccine that, for them, is probably medically unnecessary?

Likewise, thousands of American military personnel face a less-than-honorable discharge if they choose not to get vaccinated under Biden’s order. Our troops mostly are young and in excellent physical condition, and thus have weathered the pandemic better than almost any other group of human beings on the planet.

We have experienced just 26 known deaths out of more than 200,000 coronavirus cases in the U.S. armed forces. Why exactly does Biden want to fire thousands of our nation’s finest patriots simply for refusing a shot that all evidence suggests most of them do not need?

The president’s absurd, unscientific, unnecessary, and unlawful vaccine mandate is now being echoed by left-wing politicians across the nation.

In New York, after announcing that “God wants” people to get vaccinated, the new Democrat governor began firing nurses and health care workers who declined the vaccine. In what world does it make sense to fire nurses in the name of public health?

Likewise, the Biden administration is threatening to fire thousands of unvaccinated Border Patrol agents. On the other hand, the record number of illegal aliens streaming across the border are exempt from the tyrannical rules American citizens are forced to live under. In fact, the Biden administration knowingly has released thousands of COVID-19-positive illegal immigrants into American communities.

The president and other liberal politicians continue to move the goalposts every time someone has the audacity to ask when we can have our liberty back.

If Americans distrust the administration, it’s because of statements such as this by Dr. Anthony Fauci: “When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75%,” he said. “Then, when newer surveys said 60% or more would take it, I thought, ‘I can nudge this up a bit,’ so I went to 80, 85.”

If Biden and Democrats have their way, the pandemic-induced panic will never end. The coronavirus has given the radical left the perfect opportunity to create the utopia they have dreamed about for ages: a world of absolute conformity, where all dissenting opinions—and the people who hold them—are ostracized from polite society.

For the radical left, this is not even about the virus, or about public health. It’s about power, control, and forcing the American people to submit.

But the American people never have submitted to tyranny, and never will. Vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans, Republicans and Democrats, young and old, should stand together against Biden’s unlawful mandate and state-sponsored discrimination against those who choose to make their own health care decisions.

When Americans speak with one voice and demand the restoration of liberty, then and only then will the pandemic panic truly be over.

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This article was published on October 4, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The Daily Signal.  The author is the former Vice President of the United States.

Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda Would Impose The Country’s Highest Tax Hike Since 1968

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Evidence is clear that tax hikes, especially those on income, are very harmful to economic growth since they are more distortionary to productive economic activity than other taxes. Income taxes work by reducing the incentive for individuals to work and invest in building capital.

Tax hikes come in different shapes and sizes, however. Some factors like the structure and size of the tax hike also contribute to how the economy is affected. So, how does President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better proposal compare to other past tax proposals?

The Tax Foundation analyzed this question by comparing tax revenue as a percentage of GDP from the tax proposals to those of the past.

According to their analysis, “compared to previous tax changes, this House tax plan would impose the largest gross tax increase since President Lyndon Johnson’s tax hike to help fund the Vietnam War in 1968.”

According to a report from the Treasury Department, between 1940 and 2012, Congress enacted 21 major tax bills that increased federal tax revenues over at least one fiscal year. Of these 21 revenue-raising tax bills, the five largest tax increases since 1940 raised annual federal revenue in the range of 1.33 percent of GDP up to 5.04 percent of GDP (see accompanying table).

The Build Back Better Act tax proposals include about $2.06 trillion in corporate and individual tax increases on a conventional basis over the next 10 years, which is worth about 0.72 percent of GDP. Looking at the first year alone, it raises about $175.1 billion of gross revenue, or about 0.76 percent of GDP. Under both measures, the proposal would be the largest gross tax increase since the Revenue and Expenditure Control Act of 1968.

Tax Bill Revenue Effect as a Percentage of GDP (first fiscal year unless otherwise indicated)
Revenue Act of 1942 5.04%
Revenue Act of 1941 2.20%
Revenue and Expenditure Control Act of 1968 1.74%
Revenue Act of 1951 1.52%
Revenue Act of 1950 1.33%
$3.5 Trillion in Gross Revenue Raisers (2022-2031) 1.22%
Current Tax Payment Act of 1943 1.16%
House BBBA Gross Revenue Raisers in 2022 0.76%
House BBBA Gross Revenue Raisers (2022-2031) 0.72%
Crude Oil Windfall Profit Tax Act of 1980 0.44%
Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 0.53%
Tax Reform Act of 1986 0.41%
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 0.41%
House BBBA Net Revenue Raised (2022-2031) 0.37%

Contrary to what Biden claims, the Build Back Better plan does not cost Americans $0, it would be one of the costliest bills the country has seen in a long time.

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This article was published on October 6, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from American Experiment.

Biden Destroying Debt Ceiling Filibuster Breaks Campaign Promise To Restore Decorum

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Editors’ Note: Since this article was published October 6th at Independent Women’s Forum, Senator Mitch McConnell and ten other U.S. Senators ‘caved’ (on 10/7) to allow Democrats to raise the debt ceiling until December, kicking the ‘can down the road’. This was unnecessary given that even with Biden’s and Schumer’s threat of killing the filibuster, Senators Joe Manchin (very adamantly) and Kyrsten Sinema (most likely) would have prevented the nuclear option of no longer requiring 60 votes to pass most Senate legislation. The Democrats are now mocking McConnell and pushing ahead with their destructive legislative agenda. We reproduce this article to demonstrate the problem with the Republican Party and the enabling behavior for the Left they invariably demonstrate in grave matters for the America we love.

 

Biden railed against Trump for violating norms, abuse of power

While campaigning for the White House, candidate Joe Biden promised to right the ship, restore “normalcy,” decorum, and steadiness to the Oval Office. Yet from the Afghanistan debacle to spiking inflation and border chaos, President Biden’s done anything but that.

Biden’s latest norm-breaking move: his threat to change Senate rules to prevent a GOP filibuster on the eye-popping $28.4 trillion debt ceiling. On Tuesday, by calling shattering Senate norms on the filibuster “a real possibility,” Biden again eroded his campaign image as a Senate-forged institutional man of civility, respectability, and process, yet now he wants to shatter the filibuster, an important Senate rule requiring 60 votes to proceed on most legislation. Senators created the rule to make sure that one majority party didn’t dominate too far over the minority.

Though it appears Wednesday evening that Biden might get a reprieve, as POLITICO reports, “McConnell will let Democrats raise the debt ceiling into December without filibustering the bill, kicking the can on the fight over the debt.” However, The Wall Street Journal summarizes Biden’s filibuster hypocrisy well:

“Democrats keep telling Americans they have the votes and a mandate to pass the biggest tax increase since 1968 and the biggest domestic spending bill ever. Yet they also claim they’re helpless to raise the federal debt ceiling without Republican votes.

It’s a preposterous position, albeit of the sort this Administration often tries to sell. Such as: The soaring number of illegal border crossings in Texas is merely “seasonal,” the Afghanistan withdrawal was a success, and the cost of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill is “zero.”

Yet the White House is sticking to the line that the minority party is at fault for the majority party’s failure to raise the limit. The press-office wizards rolled out President Biden on Monday to portray the GOP’s reluctance not to cooperate as “so reckless and dangerous,” along with the usual parade of potential horribles: a credit downgrade, a run on the dollar, and a potential default on U.S. securities….But no one is preventing Democrats from doing their job. The Democrats can pass anything they want in the House. In the Senate they have 50 votes, plus the Vice President, to pass anything budget related through reconciliation. The GOP can’t filibuster such a budget bill—a fact Democrats are counting on to pass their multi-trillion-dollar tax and spending binge. The parliamentarian has already said that Democrats can use reconciliation to raise the debt limit, so why won’t they do it? As it happens, Mr. Biden gave that game away when he was asked Monday why Democrats aren’t using reconciliation.”

The Journal goes on to explain that Biden’s blocking reconciliation because it would force Democrats to go on record about a number of other, unrelated votes that would put Democrats on record taking unpopular positions.

The good news is that changing filibuster rules would require support from all Senate Democrats, and Democratic Sen. Joe “Manchin’s office confirmed for [POLITICO] Playbook, however, that the senator hasn’t changed his opposition to a filibuster carveout. Even if he did, Democrats would still have to deal with Sen. KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-Ariz.), who’s broadly against getting rid of the filibuster because she thinks it would lead to wild swings in policy as control of Congress moves between parties.”

Cheers to Manchin and Sinema assuming the roles of grownups in the room. Here’s hoping they hold the line. 

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This article was published on October 6, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from the Independent Women’s Forum.